Real Madrid – Napoli

The current title holder Real Madrid welcomes Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu in a first Champions League 1/8-finals game between these two teams.

Real Madrid are motivated to become the first team in the Champions League history who managed to defend its trophy. Zinedine Zidane’s team is performing very solid in the Spanish La Liga, leading the standings with two games in hand in front of Barcelona. Except of their Copa del Rey failure, everything for Real Madrid this season is going really great.

They surprisingly surrended the first spot in Group F of the Champions League to Borussia Dortmund, although they didn’t lose neither one of their six games in the group.

In the same time, Napoli won Group B in the company of Benfica, Besiktas and Dynamo Kyiv, but they still had one of the most unpleasant draws they could have for the knockout phase.

Maurizio Sarri’s team is enjoying a good form in the last month, winning four of its last Serie A games and not losing neither one of them. Napoli scored the impressive 9 goals in their last two games – against Bologna and Genoa, so this is a red lamp for Real Madrid’s defenders before the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The good news for Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane come from the recovery of the Welsh superstar Gareth Bale. The winger recovered from his ankle injury and resumed trainings with the squad, but he’s still not ready to return to the pitch. If everything is okay, he will most propably travel to Naples for the second leg against Napoli.

The Belgian international Dries Mertens is the player to watch for Napoli. The 29-years old forward have scored 16 goals for the Azzuri since the start of the season and he’s Napoli’s most effective player in front of goal. You can be sure that Zinedine Zidane will pay special attention to Mertens before the first game at the Santiago Bernabeu.